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The Simpsons’ Episode About Pokémon Go Will Not Air in Russia Due to Religious Controversy



It looks like Russian audiences won’t be able to watch The Simpsons latest episode, “Looking for Mr. Goodbart,” anytime soon. The Russian cartoon-dominated network 2x2 has canceled its planned broadcast of the episode, which centers around a Pokémon Go copycat called Peekimon Get, after clergy from the Russian Orthodox Church criticized a scene in which Homer plays the game in a church.

2x2’s decision to pull the episode, which aired in the U.S. on April 30, came shortly after criticism by clerics, as reported by Russia’s government-run news agency TASS. “We don’t show content that can compromise the channel or provoke an ambiguous reaction in society, that to put it simply breaks the country’s legislation,” the channel’s public relations director told Agence France Presse.

The episode is reminiscent of the real-life case of Russian YouTuber Ruslan Sokolovsky, who was arrested last year over a video in which he is seen playing Pokémon Go in the Church of All Saints in Yekaterinburg. “But, you know, I didn’t catch the rarest Pokémon that you could find there, Jesus,” says Sokolovsky at the end of the recording. “They said it doesn’t even exist, so I’m not really surprised.”

Sokolovsky is currently facing a jail sentence of three-and-a-half years for offending religious believers.